John Seymour Lucas
The Call to Arms
Oil on canvas
25 inches x 38 inches
John Seymour Lucas was born in London on 21 December, 1849. He was the nephew of the portrait painter John Lucas and father to the artist Sydney Seymour Lucas. He initially trained as a woodcarver before attending the St. Martin's Lane Art School and the Royal Academy Schools. He made his debut at the RA in 1872, was elected an associate member in 1876 and a full Academician in 1898. In 1877, he married the Parisian artist Marie Cornelissen whom he had met at the RA. In the same year Lucas became an elected Member of the New Society of Painters in Water-colours. He continued his education, travelling around Europe where he studied the Flemish and Spanish Masters. He was particularly inspired by van Dyck and Velezquez and started to paint historical scenes from the 16th to 18th century Tudor and Stuart periods including the Spanish Armada, English Civil War and the Jacobite rebellions. During the late 1880’s his reputation flourished and he became friends with John Singer Sargent. A portrait of him by Singer Sargent is held at the National Portrait Gallery. Lucas executed a number of major works for prestigious public buildings and royal clients. He also designed sets and costumes. During most of his career, he lived in a purpose-built studio in South Hampstead, London. Towards the end of World War I, he moved to Blythburgh, Suffolk where he lived until his death in 1923.
Provenance: Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1894, catalogue no. 467